Tortuga Back

This is one of the main reasons for the shortfall of posts recently. I’ve been working away on another translation, and something of an unusual one.

Long before The Moomins, Lars Jansson had made something of a name for himself as an author. His first book, Skatten på Tortuga (The Treasure of Tortuga) was published in 1941, a tale of derring-do and hidden treasure on the high seas. Written when he was fifteen, the plot revolves around two friends finding a pirate’s treasure map and setting off to find the hidden treasure without a thought of personal risk, the concern of their parents, or the practicalities of two Swedish teenagers setting out for the Greater Antilles.

The hardest part was getting hold of a copy – this book is incredibly rare, with only a few copies in existence. Search online and you’ll draw a complete blank – even the specialist booksellers who I spoke to in Finland and Sweden had never seen one, which is a pity as it has a great piece of cover art by Ham, the mother of Tove and Lars.

Suffice to say, it has never been reprinted or translated. But a copy was eventually located and the translation is now complete, with the editing process in its final stages. The long process to getting this wildly obscure tome into print in English – after 75 years – is now underway.